Disasters happen. We cannot prevent them despite all of our efforts and measures. What we can do is to be well prepared in a case something unavoidable occurs, when a disaster strikes, your data might be destroyed, your interaction with customers might be stopped and knowing which steps to take at that time can help you save your business.

First steps

When thinking about the options, there are two important metrics to know first:

  • RPO (recovery point objective)the maximum targeted period in whichdata might be lost from an IT service due to a major incident..
  • RTO (recovery time objective)targeted duration of time and a service level within which abusiness process must be restored after a disaster (or disruption) in order to avoid unacceptable consequences associated with a break in business continuity.

Every business has different RPO and RTO targets. You must determine your targets and set your RPO and RTO according to your needs.

What are the options?

Once you know the timeframe of your downtime and the time within which you’ll restore what’s lost, you can think and work on the options you have to save all what’s vital for your business.

Here are the three options you can take into consideration:

  1. Active/active or Active/passive replication
  • Synchronous (active/active) replication is the process of copying data over astorage area network, local area network or wide area network so there are multiple, up-to-date copies of the  The pros of this replication are the possibility for automatic failover and it takes little to no downtime and data loss. However, its cons are that it is costly because it requires more equipment and software and reliable network connectivity and increased complexity, since you have to manage two sites and the connection between them. Where you have pros, you’ll probably find cons.
  • Asynchronous (active/passive) Replication is a store and forward approach to databackup or data protection. This replication’s cons are that there is a potential for data loss and just like synchronous one, it is costly. When it comes to pros, besides possibility for automatic failover, there is a continuous replication of data.
  1. The Cloud– More and more small business are including the cloud services into their disaster recovery plan since it allows them to pay for what they use and how long they use it. Easy implementation, low costs and its flexibility are just some of the pros of the cloud. The cons of this option are that restoring is a manual process, which requires some time to be done, and you have to be sure that it supports applications that you use.
  2. Tape/disk backup- Despite the fast development of technology, some businesses still rely on the traditional backup solution: tape backup. Calling in the old friends is never a useless step if they are still helpful. Be it tape backup or diskbackup, you can still include it in your disaster recovery backup plan. The pros of this option are low cost; it’s cost effective for storage and archiving for the long term. Some of the cons include manual restoring process, the possibility of media failure, and recovery of the full system takes a lot of time.

Building your own disaster recovery plan and looking for the best options might be very stressful and time consuming, especially if you’re in the middle of the project that brings your company a lot of money. Stay relaxed, focus on your work and turn to some IT consulting services that can help you make the best plan on what to do in a case disaster knocks on your door or you can check disaster recovery plan template from Prosyn and find out more about DR planning.